BOSTON -- Northeastern's winning goal on Friday night gave the phrase "broken play" a whole new meaning.
Junior Kevin Roy slashed the stick from a Notre Dame player's hands in the left wing circle, leading the way to sophomore Dalen Hedges scoring his second of two goals in a 3-2 win over the Fighting Irish at Matthews Arena.
The clinching goal by Hedges, who now has two goals and three assists in his last three games, came with 1:30 remaining in regulation as the Huskies improved to 4-1-3 in the calendar year.
Roy should have been called for a penalty, as Notre Dame head coach Jeff Jackson said (without saying it), but the whistles did not blow at a key moment in a game which saw ten combined power-play opportunities.
"It shouldn't have happened," Jackson said of the play for which he received no explanation from referees Kevin Keenan and Terrence Murphy.
The Huskies put everything but the kitchen sink on Notre Dame freshman Cal Petersen's goal in the first period as 16 of their 22 total shot attempts were on goal. He played big for the duration, stopping every shot he faced to keep the game scoreless into the intermission.
His best effort of the night came at about the 11:00 mark as he flashed the leather on a coast-to-coast effort by Northeastern sophomore Mike Szmatula.
"He was outstanding," Jackson said of his rookie stopper from Waterloo, Iowa who made 37 saves in the game. "He did what he had to do. I challenged him this morning because he's slowly taking over our No. 1 job. That's what he's capable of; it's just a matter of him being able to do that on a nightly basis and that's what I'm trying to get him to do."
With such a high shot total, it was simply a matter of time before the Huskies would find the back of the net as they did 2:36 into the second frame on Roy's 11th goal of the season.
Sophomore defenseman Matt Benning started the play at the center point, feeding his junior partner Dustin Darou on the left wing. Darou strode down towards the goal line with the puck and fed Roy for a shot that deflected off Petersen's shoulder and in.
Just 12 seconds into a power-play opportunity called at 13:19, sophomore Dalen Hedges doubled the Huskies' lead to 2-0. Junior Mike McMurtry was credited with the primary assist in a net-mouth scramble and the puck found its way to Hedges in the midst for his fifth goal of the season.
"I thought we played really well for the first two periods," NU head coach Jim Madigan said. "I liked the way we pressured the puck, I liked the way we were attacking. Offensively, I thought we had some good looks and a lot of shots."
The Irish cut their deficit in half and made the game interesting, taking advantage of a NU delay of game penalty called 2:55 into the third. On a scrum in front of NU redshirt sophomore goaltender Derick Roy, a Husky was called for covering the puck in the crease.
Jackson declined the penalty shot his team was awarded and opted for two minutes or less of man-up time.
Less time was exactly what ensued as junior Mario Lucia found the back of the net on a hard wrister from the top of the circle to Derick Roy's left at 3:11. The puck bounced off the post and in for his team-best 16th goal this year.
"In the third period, we got a little bit on our heels," Madigan said. "Again, too many penalties; you can't give a skilled team like Notre Dame six power plays ... and you know they're going to cash in."
Junior Sam Herr knotted the score for the Irish at 13:15 as he took a shot from the left point that eluded D. Roy through a screen in front.
Hedges finished off the second two-goal game of his career with 90 seconds to play on the ultimate broken play, keeping the Huskies unbeaten in their last three games.
After getting away with a slashing call, K. Roy found McMurtry on an odd-man rush. McMurtry fed a puck through a seam to Hedges for a one-time shot that bounced in off Petersen's pad, his third assist and fifth point in the last four games.
"That was a huge goal, especially because we were taking it to them in the first two (periods)," Hedges said. "We kind of sat back a bit and allowed them to get back in the game (leading into the winning goal). We had a lot of belief on the bench and we knew Derick would shut the door for us."